First Line Friday — Reconnecting

4D2FE010-5CE3-4ADB-B1CC-506C99417764Lush melodies drew her to the door of the lounge, the friendly smiles enticed her inside. But as soon as she entered the room, she was hit by an atmosphere thick with the aroma of cigars. It reminded her of her father and a room in their house, which was actually a spare bedroom, when she was a young girl. It was the one place in their home where her mother permitted her father to smoke his cigars. This place smelled just like that room, and she wondered if all the men in the lounge would smell like her father did each time he emerged from that room of his. Strangely, the thought being in a room with men who smelled like her father both repelled and attracted her.

She made her way through the fog of cigar smoke until she reached the bar, where a man wearing a fedora was sitting by himself sipping on a martini and puffing away on a fat cigar. She stood next to him and asked the bartender to fix her a vodka martini, which he did. The bartender asked her if she wanted to start a tab. “Put it on my tab,” the man in the fedora said.

She sat down next to him. “Thanks,” she said. He tipped his head and said, “You’re welcome. We don’t get many classy dames like you in this place. What brings you here?”

“I was supposed to have dinner at the restaurant next door with my father, but he stood me up. I haven’t seen him in over ten years, since shortly after my mother died, and I was hoping to reconnect with him tonight. But when he never showed, I didn’t feel like sitting there by myself, so I left the restaurant and came over here when I heard the music,” she explained.

“Ah, that’s why you’re all dolled up,” he said, giving her the once over. “Your old man must be a fool to have left you sitting all alone like that.”

“Thank you, I guess. I’m Monica,” she said, extending a hand. “And you are?”

He took her hand and squeezed gently. “I’m Frank. Pleased to meet you, Monica,” he said. “That’s a nice name.”

“My father’s name was Frank,” Monica said. “Like you, he enjoyed his cigars.” Monica looked more closely at the man sitting next to her. “Would you mind taking your hat off? I want to see your face.”

“Sure, babe, whatever you want,” Frank said, removing his hat and putting it on the bar to his left.

Monica let out a gasp. “Oh my God,” she said. “You look remarkably like my father when he was a younger man.”

“Should I be flattered or insulted?” Frank asked, a smile on his face.

Monica had heard her father use that expression many times over the years. A weird feeling came over her. “What is your last name?” she asked Frank.

“Grayson,” he said. “Frank Grayson, but my friends call me Smitty.”

Monica felt faint. “This can’t be happening,” she said. “My last name is Grayson and my father’s nickname is Smitty. Is this some kind of a sick joke? She stood up, put down her drink, grabbed her wrap, and ran toward the door.

“Hey, honey, it’s 1955,” Frank yelled as she was leaving. “You need to lighten up in these modern times.”

As Monica left the lounge, Rod Serling appeared just outside the door. “Monica missed her estranged father terribly,” he said, “but when he didn’t show up for dinner tonight, she left the restaurant and walked into the past, where she finally met her father again…in a cigar lounge called The Twilight Zone.”


Written for the First Line Friday prompt from Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. The first line is “Lush melodies drew her to the door of the lounge, the friendly smiles enticed her inside.” Image credit: “Cigar Bar Evening Lounge” by Brent Lynch.

A Very Special Delivery

B841FB41-8572-4D8E-9303-4A87946521D4“Was that a knock?” Brenda asked.

“Don’t answer it,” Dave insisted.

“Why not?”

“Because we’re not expecting anyone.”

Brenda ignored Dave, went to their apartment door and looked through the peephole. “It’s the guy from Federal Express,” she called out to Dave. “Can I help you?” she asked.

“I have a delivery for you,” he said.

“Who’s it from, we weren’t expecting anything.”

“I don’t know, ma’am,” he responded. “I just deliver.”

“Okay, leave it by the door,” Brenda said.

“Fine,” he responded and walked away.

Brenda looked over at Dave. “Can you go out and get it?” she asked him.

Clearly annoyed, Dave got up and went to the door. He opened it, picked up the box, and brought it inside their apartment, kicking the door shut behind him. “Jeez, this is heavy,” he said.

Excited, Brenda examined the large package. She tore open the box and the started to squeal. Dave came running over to her. “Are you okay? What is it?”

“Oh my God,“ Brenda screamed. “This is a genuine Dyrpirh!”

“A what?”

“A Dyrpirh,” she said. “I told my mother we were running low on toilet paper and we are in the midst of this pandemic and can’t get any. She said she’d help us out. But instead of toilet paper, she sent us a freakin’ Dyrpirh!”

“But what is it?”

“What is it?” Brenda exclaimed. “It’s a state-of-the-art toilet-top bidet with a heated seat, temperature controlled water spray, and a warm air drying element. Who needs toilet paper when you have a Dyrpirh?” she gleefully said.


Written for two Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie prompts. The Tale Weaver Making Sense of Nonsense prompt where we’re asked to write a story using the nonsense word “Dyrpirh,” and the First Line Friday prompt where the first line is “Was that a knock?” Also for Fandango’s One-World Challenge (express).

Santa’s Favorite Ho

3E3AE923-AA60-446C-BA64-FC4B3CEB05EE“You want me to wear that to the holiday party?”

“Yeah, I bought it special for you to wear tonight. You’ll look amazing.”

“That is the ugliest sweater I have ever seen and there’s no way I’m wearing it.”

Oh come on, it’s pretty and it’s funny. You’ll be the hit of the party.”

You must be totally unhinged if you think I’m wearing a Christmas sweater that labels me as ‘Santa’s Favorite Ho.’”


Written for the First Line Friday prompt from Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, where the first line is, “That is the ugliest sweater I have ever seen.”

5 linesAlso written for the Friday Five Lines or Less prompt from Patricia’s Place. The idea is to write a story or poem of five lines or less. This week’s words is “holiday party.”

And for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (unhinged).

The Elevator

6B56D84C-DDC8-45B8-95F2-3201829C0842The elevator stopped on the thirteenth floor with a lurch. The three passengers, a young man, maybe in his early twenties dressed in jeans and carrying an envelope, a middle-aged man dressed in a suit and tie, and an older woman in an unflattering, matronly outfit, looked at one another other.

The middle-aged man immediately took charge and pressed the button to take him to his office on the 20th floor, but nothing happened when he hit it. He looked to see what floor the elevator had stopped at and saw the sign above the elevator door, which displayed the number 13. “That’s not possible,” he said.

The old woman looked worried and asked what the problem was. The man looked at her, then at the young man, and back up to the number displayed. “This building does not have a thirteenth floor,” he said. “It goes from the twelfth to the fourteenth floor.”

“You baby boomers and your stupid superstitions,” the younger man said. “Thirteen is just a number, like every other number.”

“Today is Friday the thirteenth,” the old woman said. “I knew I should have stayed home today.”

The young man chuckled. The older man pressed the emergency call button, but no sound was heard.

The old lady began to sob. The young man shook his head, and the older man attempted to pull the elevator doors apart with his hands. “A little help here,” he said to the younger man.

Suddenly the doors opened and a cold, eerie mist filled the elevator. The last sound that was heard was that of the younger man’s voice saying, “What the fuck?”

A moment later the mist cleared and a lone man was standing outside the elevator doors. He began to speak. “Three strangers enter an elevator in a high rise building on Friday the thirteenth. One a business executive, one a bicycle messenger boy, and one a kindly grandmother. What none of them knew when they boarded the elevator on that auspicious day, was that the elevator made only one stop. It stopped atD59D2BF3-CBBE-4395-8904-20CDCE959FC7Written for this week’s First Line Friday prompt from Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. The first line is, “The elevator stopped on the thirteenth floor with a lurch.”

The Odd Couple

1677E2EC-DE06-4816-8C15-A80AF6694DBBJust like every Leo, she always had to be the center of attention. But as an Aries, I, too, can be passionate, confident, and very direct. So yes, we did clash quite a bit. But that’s to be expected, isn’t it? We are, after all, both fire signs and are each strong willed, so a certain amount of discordance shouldn’t be a surprise.

Sometime we collide about minor things, like whether to go to Disneyland or to Magic Mountain for a vacation. Or that she loves to soak in a tub for hours, while I am in and out of the shower within three minutes. At other times our whole orientation is in conflict, like her being more of a home body who would be happy spending the evening sipping wine in front of the fireplace, while my preference would be to live a more nomadic life, driving around the country visiting scenic national parks in an RV.

The truth is, though, that I find her to be a totally bewitching woman and she finds me to be an extraordinarily fascinating man. And while we are occasionally at each other’s throats, there is nothing that anyone can do to chip away at our love. We may seem to be an odd couple, but together, we have zero tolerance for anyone who would dare to try to tear us apart.


Written for the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie First Line Friday prompt, where the first line is, “Just like every Leo, she always had to be the center of attention.” Also for Paula Light’s Three Things Challenge, where the three things are “Disneyland,” “fireplace,” and “zero.” And for these daily prompts: Daily Addictions (Mountain), The Daily Spur (shower), Nova’s Daily Random Word (nomadic), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (bewitching), and Word of the Day Challenge (chip).